I’ve reached a point where I don’t know what I want to do with this blog.
I’m not sure how much I want to use it just to replay favorite videos off YouTube. Or to observe and analyze my psyche. These days I read books and see movies rarely (blame the economy—blame a crappified publishing industry and “Hollywood”), and when I do read bestsellers or see blockbusters, they are no longer selling particularly well or busting any blocks, so the idea of using my blog to pimp or review the trends seems (how should I put it?) lackluster.
My politics—never especially practical or active—are at low tide.
I like Obama still, no more or less than I did a year ago—apart from spasms of love or hate that last no more than 30 minutes a shot. Basically I think he is okay. He’s a politician, a great one, a master of nuance and self-control. He works with and for the big-money, power people. Sure, he has a heart for the little people, too, but apart from campaigns (and rarely then) how many little people do politicians really get to see? And, as I see it, in all these ways he’s no different from previous US Presidents—and on most other points their superior.
Much is happening in politics these days—talk of healthcare reform, gay rights, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, the fucked-up economy (thanks Republicans—all the ones I know personally now call themselves libertarians—riiight)—but what is not happening so much is enactment of new policy—or change I can see as well as believe in.
Until very recently, I was calling, e-mailing, and petition-signing for my people in DC all the time—but lately I’m tired of getting the prefabricated responses, followed by pleas for contributions (liberal and Democratic organizations are the worst for this). My only representative who has responded to any of my many messages with any appearance of actually having read them (and, in most cases, disagreeing with them) is NC Senator Richard Burr, a Republican.
“Harry and Louise” are back, the couple in serial ads sponsored by the Health Insurance Association of America. After bashing Clinton’s try at healthcare reform in 1993, they, still shills for Big Pharma and Families USA, the influential healthcare lobbyist, now voice their fictitious support of Obama’s healthcare reform—which, as I’ve said elsewhere, is a compromise that keeps the insurance companies (one of the big problems in the US healthcare system, in my opinion) happy—and doesn’t appear to address (because, again, “we’ve got the best health care in the world”) serious failings in the delivery of medicine—for one, thanks for asking, it’s impersonal, modeled on factory assembly-line techniques of production; also, it’s conducted as an elimination game, like Survivor, in which caregivers offer pricey tests to eliminate a possible disease (sometimes despite lack of symptoms that would make it a reasonable factor in the first place), usually a high-end disease, one for which pharma and non-pharma products aplenty already exist. But if your particular headache doesn’t fit an existing product line, you’re shit out of luck for receiving any sort of care at all. And these days medical “research” is absorbed in finding new ways to market existing merchandise and copying other companies’ blue-ribbon products, not in finding cures for unfashionable hard-to-place disorders.
Basically all the things we’re told to fear about socialized medicine have been brought to pass in private health care. Just as everything we learned to loathe about the so-called “group think” and “herd mentality” of socialism has come to pass (in spades) in corporate culture, in partisan politics, in team spirit, in radio talk shows. (Even Ayn Rand is parroted endlessly, her books clutched to the breasts of dizzy devotees—the greedy bitch must be rolling in her grave.)
My blogging style is rambling and spotty. Disjointed. I know it, and I apologize. It’s also elliptical and eclectic ... a little of this, a little of that. You never know what you’re getting.
I’m never really angry enough to become the Howard Beale of bloggers. Angry blogs always seem to choke on their own hysteria in the end. On the other hand, I can’t be uplifting either—Pollyanna and Norman Vincent Peale are not in my makeup. It’s a struggle enough to be intelligent; you want inspirational, too?
I’ve almost finished reading Don Quixote—that seventeenth-century masterpiece I avoided for so many years. It both inspires me to pursue my passions and fantasies and then rebukes me for living in a dream world. It, too, is episodic and digressive. Comic and pessimistic. The human mind works this way—in flashes, in starts and false starts, in comparisons and contrasts, in mood swings. Whatever wisdom there is, emerges from boredom—not entertainment. Just as the great scientific discoveries have usually occurred as “mistakes”—more’s to pity our society of efficiency experts who strive to eliminate mistakes—and an entertainment industry intent on banning tedium—or any human touch whatsoever.
In Quixote, I see the beginnings of the modern mind—hasty to act upon high but half-baked ideals, unwilling to take responsibility for the destructive effects of those acts, vaguely aware of his ridiculousness, outraged at the aloofness of the wealthy and the servility of the poor, almost noble in his isolation and absolute (and willful) blindness to reality.
And I suppose, now that I think about it, by “modern mind” I really mean my mind.